Squash is a dynamic, fast-paced sport that is easy to play and as a social activity is a great way to meet new people.
We look at the basic squash equipment you need to get into this globally popular sport.
We outline what you need to play squash and offer some advice on getting into this fantastic racquet sport.
And if you’d like to know how to play squash, please see here.
- Squash Balls
- Squash Racquets
- Squash Shoes
- Squash Court
Squash balls are obviously a vital piece of squash equipment.
The first thing you’ll notice is that squash balls made of solid rubber and their weight varies slightly, from 23-25 grams, as does their diameter – 39.5 and 40.5mm.
We’ll explain these variations when we discuss the ‘dots‘ below.
As they are made of solid rubber, some grades of squash ball don’t bounce very well until they have ‘warmed up‘- particularly the balls used by professional players.
For this reason, a competition squash game always starts with a warm up session to get the ball bouncing, as well as to get the players ready to play.
Unlike many other sports, it’s possible for even a beginner to play an enjoyable game of squash if they play with the correct choice of squash ball.
This is because squash balls are categoried by their size and how much they bounce:
- Blue Dot (Beginner Ball)– the biggest squash ball has a blue dot and this item of squash equipment is specifically designed for beginners and younger players. The larger size makes it easier to hit, but it also bounces more than the other balls and this means that you have more time to get to the ball and return it. And because it has natural bounce, you don’t need to spend time getting the ball warmed up.
- Red Dot (Progress Ball)– this ball is slightly bigger than a professional standard squash ball, but smaller than the blue dot. Red dot balls were created with recreational players in mind as they offer a generous amount of bounce (though less bounce than the blue dot) which makes it possible to keep a rally going for longer. You can usually get away without warming the progress ball up.
- Single Yellow Dot (Competition Ball) – this ball and the double yellow dot ball are both the same, smaller size, when compared to the blue and red dot balls. The competition ball bounces 10% more than its double dotted cousin. This gives the player a little more ‘hang time’ in which to reach the ball and return play. However, this extra hang time is noticeably less than either a blue or red dot allow, which is why the competition ball is best for high level players. You need to warm up this piece of squash equipment before you play.
- Double Yellow Dot (Pro Ball) – this is the official ball used on the Pro Tour. It has the lowest bounce, the least hang time and so is hardest to get to before it drops. And this is why it’s the squash ball chosen by elite players and for official top tier competitions.
As an aside, squash balls make good hand, grip and finger strengthening exercise devices too. Squeeze one for ten minutes whilst watching TV and you’ll soon see what we mean.
For prices and information on squash balls, see here.
Just as you need a tennis racquet to play tennis and a badminton racquet to play badminton, you need a squash racquet to play squash. This should not come as a shock 😉 and, if it does, maybe you are thinking of Wallball (American handball) or Fives?
A squash racquet has a large head with either a traditional/open throat, a teardrop/closed throat or a hybrid stringed surface. Which of these you choose depends of personal preference and skill level.
All rhave slightly different ‘sweet spots’ that should be considered. For example, a traditional/open throat racquet has a smaller set of string and sweet spot, so it’s suitable for more experienced players who want more control.
Other things that you’ll need to think about are the balance of your squash racquet – do you want the balance to be head-heavy, head-light or even – and its weight. The lighter the squash racquet, the easier it is to move around and that suits a more attacking style of player.
If you’d like a comprehensive rundown of what to consider when choosing a squash racquet, please watch this informative video.
If you want to play squash, as with every other sport, there are specially designed squash shoes that you can buy.
Properly made squash shoes offer the right support for your ankle and foot when you are lunging around the court and also have a sole suitable for the wooden surface of the playing area.
Whether or not you feel that special shoes are an essential piece of squash equipment is a matter of choice, but if you decide to take the sport up seriously, they are certainly worth considering.
If you are new to squash and still deciding that whether or not to commit to the sport, a properly fitted pair of tennis shoes or other sports shoes will be fine, though soles that won’t mark the wooden floor of the squash court are recommended. In fact, many courts will have a requirement that only white-soled shoes are permitted.
For prices and information on squash shoes, see here.
The Squash Court
It may not be a piece of sports equipment in the conventional sense, but if you don’t have a squash court , you can’t play squash, so as far as we’re concerned, it’s an essential piece of squash equipment 😉
A squash court is a 4-sided box with a front wall that the players face, 2 side walls and a back wall. The back wall is often glass to a while people to look into the court.
The wooden floor is marked with red lines:
- The Front Line – runs across the court and divides the front of the court from the back.
- The Half Court Line – runs from the front line to the back wall and divides the space for the players.
These 2 lines together are known as the T.
- The Service Boxes – are 2 smaller boxes set within the T, next to the side walls.
These lines only have importance when a player is serving.
The front wall has 3 lines:
- The Tin – the bottom line and below it are called ‘the tin’. If the ball hits them, it is out.
- The Service Line – the serving player must hit the ball within the tin and the service line.
- The Out Line – this line is at the top of the court and runs around it’s entire edge. Any ball that hits this line or goes over it is ‘out’ and the point lost.